EduShare - Higher Ed Blog & News


Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 12/10/21

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    Colleges Weigh Requiring COVID Boosters

    This week NPR examines how institutions are addressing COVID boosters.  One of the first institutions to announce it was requiring boosters of its students, faculty and staff was Wesleyan University. Students shared that they appreciated the accessibility to get a booster on campus versus having to travel into the community to do so.  Duke and Rutgers universities, both of whom adopted vaccine mandates early, are encouraging students to get boosters but have not announced plans to make it required. The American College Health Association's COVID-19 task force is waiting to see if the CDC changes the definition of fully vaccinated to include a booster given within six months of getting a vaccine. 

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      Higher education institutions continue to focus on how to deliver mental health support to students. Researchers are examining the benefits of a handful of psychological AI-enabled chatbots to see how effective this new, affordable technology might be for college students. Recent studies found reduced anxiety symptoms among college students who used AI chatbots. Considering AI chatbots for mental health support raises important questions: will these products meet the needs of underrepresented students? Will chatbots be mandatory reporters? How will they handle student privacy?

  • 4

    This week EdSurge examines factors that impact why college students leave college without completing degrees and how institutions can better address student concerns before they stop out.  Students who stopped attending cited personal or family issues as the number one reason they left school.  Financial reasons were the second most named cause of stopped attendance.  Younger students cite their current institution not being the “right” fit for the reason they stopped attending. One difference that researchers have noted is that millennial students seem to have a different connection to institutions of higher education than past generations.

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    Because of the pandemic’s interruption to two years of on-campus learning, the group End Rape on Campus (EROC) is calling this fall semester a “double red zone.” The “red zone” refers to the the period from August to late November when roughly 50 percent of sexual assaults occur at colleges during any given year. Administrators, students and activists at many major universities have been raising alarms about sexual assault since campus life returned closer to pre-pandemic levels this fall. There is an increase in reported sexual assaults and concerns about a lack of adequate response by police and university officials. Advocates are pushing the Department of Education to more quickly reverse guidelines established in 2020 which many feel are restricting students ability to report assaults.

Wishing all of our colleagues in higher education a restful and renewing winter holiday season.

We look forward to returning in 2022 with our Friday 5 Newsletter!

Author: Meg Foster
December 10, 2021
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